After the more leisurely summer period, the 2004 season of the LG Super Racing Weekend has picked up speed again, and only ten days after the Imola heatwave, the teams will be setting up the paddock at the German circuit of Oschersleben, near ...
After the more leisurely summer period, the 2004 season of the LG Super Racing Weekend has picked up speed again, and only ten days after the Imola heatwave, the teams will be setting up the paddock at the German circuit of Oschersleben, near Magdeburg. With the end of the season approaching fast, the title fights are closing up, and a weekend of exciting racing should be on the cards. The first two titles were awarded in Imola, with BMS Scuderia Italia claiming the GT Teams title for the second year in a row, while young American Scott Speed won the Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup title, just in time to celebrate at his team's home circuit. Oschersleben has become a regular event on the LG Super Racing Weekend calendar since 2002. The circuit, which was opened in late 1997, is technical, tight and winding, and is generally popular with the teams.
The Formula Renault V6 Eurocup is also heading into the final stages of the title fight. Giorgio Mondini has now taken the lead in the points table, ahead of Ryan Sharp, Andrea Belicchi and Neel Jani, who had an extremely unlucky weekend in Imola, retiring from second and first places with mechanical problems. But with thirty points for a win, plus two for pole position, anything remains possible. Robert Bell is in fifth place, with Imola winner Christian Montanari sixth - an impressive result for the San Marino driver who only joined the Eurocup in Donington.
Oschersleben will also see the final two rounds of the Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup, with new Champion Scott Speed racing 'at home' for his Oschersleben Motopark team, as well as the Mini Cup.
CIRCUIT STARS VS FOOTBALL STARS
An LG Super Racing Weekend football team will be in action on Thursday evening, playing a friendly match against the Motopark All Stars, a team made up of players from FC Magdeburg, some former national and international stars and people from the Motopark. The match will take place at the Grossalsleben stadium, with the kickoff at 18:00. Two thirty-minute halves will be played. For those interested in watching, shuttles will leave the Motopark from 17:00. The SRW All Stars will include players such as reigning GT Champion Matteo Bobbi, Michael Bartels, Jan Vonka, Alexei Vasiliev, Walter Lechner Jr, Bert Longin, Nicolaj Fomenko, Sascha Maassen, Philipp Peter and Mini Challenge driver Peter Enders.
OSCHERSLEBEN ACCORDING TO BMW TEAM DEUTSCHLAND'S DIRK MULLER
Current leader of the FIA European Touring Car Championship at the wheel of his BMW Team Deutschland BMW 320i, Dirk Muller, 28-year old from Burbak, won both races at Oschersleben in 2002, while on the continental series' first visit to the Motopark.
"This track is quite tighty and twisty, and you don't get top speeds here. It is important to have a good traction out of the long corners; there are five of them that are very similar, the only difference is the way they turn. You have to focus on these corners, trying to keep the speed from their exit throughout the following straights.
You need to have a good car under braking. Normally in the simulation the weight handicap is a factor, however we saw last year that Jorg was on pole despite 30 kg of ballast. On this particular track, if you have a very good balance, the extra weight does not affect the performance very much.
I think we will see two very close races. SEAT will definitely be up there, and I also think that Alfa Romeo will be very strong, because we saw in Imola that they are good in accelerating out of the corners. The qualifying session will be a crucial moment. Even last year it was not easy to find a clear lap; now, with 30 cars on the track, it will be even more difficult."
Circuit length : 3667 m
Location : 30 km southwest of Magdeburg
MONDINI TAKES THE LEAD !
For the first time, Giorgio Mondini, from the EuroInternational team, has officially taken the lead of the Eurocup FR V6 2004. The Italo-Swiss driver, who was on the same number of points as Jenzer Motorsport's Ryan Sharp after the 7th meeting in Spa, took the lead on the technical circuit of Imola after winning the Grand Race, after taking pole position the day before. He has now won three races this year, compared to two for Sharp, his closest rival.
MONTANTARI : STATISTICALLY THE STRONGEST
The San Marino driver Christian Montanari is currently the leading driver statistically. The Victory Engineering driver has scored 122 points from the six races he has completed (he only joined the Eurocup at Donington), meaning 20.3 points per race. With four podiums from six races, and a win at home in Imola, Montanari has made quite an impression and has allowed his team to close up on EuroInternational in the teams' classification. Montanari is currently 6th overall, 20 points behind fifth-placed Robert Bell.
Despite being 56 points behind Mondini, Neel Jani (Dams) still has a chance of claiming the title. However, it was quite understandable that the Swiss driver was in a bad mood after two breakdowns left his single-seater stranded at the side of the track. Two breakdowns, meaning two retirements, while he was second in the Grand Race and leading the Super Sprint. "I've never seen anything like it," Neel said afterwards. "Just like in Magny-Cours, I've only scored two points over the weekend--. Luckily, it is still close at the top of the points table, and mathematically, anything is possible--even if --"
THE HEATWAVE --
Like everyone at Imola, the FR V6 drivers were suffering from the intense heat at the track. But the most astonishing fact was to compare the state of the drivers after their races. So while Mondini, Sharp and Pasini looked drained after their race, Montanari and Campanico looked more like Michael Schumacher after a Grand Prix : fresh and ready to go. It must be said that both drivers had driven at Imola before, and they were used to the technical, anti-clockwise circuit.
FR 2000 - SPEED : GREAT AMERICAN HOPE
Scott Speed will arrive at Oschersleben as the 2004 Eurocup Champion. The 21-year old American from the Oschersleben Motopark team will be racing 'at home'. With nine podiums and six wins, Speed has dominated the season and has caught the attention of the public and press : he is the fastest out there. With such a name, his obvious skill and a powerful sponsor, Speed looks like being a future star for American motorsport. "American drivers have not often been succesful in Formula One, and I would like that to change--" he said.